In This Issue:
Calendar Watch - January 6, 2002
The Boston Globe provides
the first coverage of Fr. John Geoghan’s sexual abuse of the
young; this story was followed by extensive reporting
by the Globe’s Spotlight Team on a cover-up by the
bishops of the Boston archdiocese.
January 15, 2005 - VOTF witness to USCCB Charter
and Norms, proposed revisions:
VOTF calls on our bishops to strengthen the Charter in key areas and opposes
self-auditing. In the Vineyard has been given a preview of the VOTF
response by Task Force chair and VOTF vice-president Kris Ward.
[Also: the January 2005 issue of US Catholic cover
story “Nothing But the Truth: The unfinished business
of the sex-abuse crisis” features an illuminating interview
with Justice Anne Burke, the outgoing interim chair
of the National Review Board; it includes a prominent
sidebar for the work of VOTF. See http://www.uscatholic.org]
July 2005 Indianapolis, IN Convention update:
The clock is ticking! As we go to press, we are six
months away from Voice of the Faithful's Convention.
Here’s what we know now: Dates – July 9-10;
Place – Indianapolis, IN; Attendees – Catholics from far and wide; Outcome – increased
energy and ideas for the road ahead. Read more.
A record number of nominations and willing
candidates rewarded VOTF with the re-election of incumbents
alongside a new secretary and new treasurer, giving
VOTF’s executive “branch” a broader national profile.
Governance – How
are we doing?
readers know, VOTF is working toward a governance structure
that will more adequately represent the national character
of the movement. Both the Governance Committee and
National Representative Council Steering Committee
have been meeting to consider various governance structures – an
update is included in this issue.
Bringing more readers into the fold and more
members closer to leadership might be achieved, in
part, by a new Vineyard column – the Officers’ Forum.
Vineyard readers are invited to pose a question each
month to one or all of our new officers. [Send your
inquiries to email@example.com and please use “Officers
Forum” in your subject line.] We will choose the question
that seems most representative of readers’ interest,
direct the question to the appropriate officer and
publish the response to that question in the following
You can call the VOTF office with your Council
questions; and there’s a new subscriber discussion
group related to Goal #2.
Office News and Needs
VOTF is seeking a National Executive Director
and an Office Manager. See details.
Church Finances in the News
What appears to be significant in recent
developments around the country is the growing expectation
of lay people in parish financial oversight.
National Working Groups
Priests’ Support Working Group continues to
learn about the challenges in this ministry; the Survivor
Support Community has an almost-new resource; and National
Parish Voice is winning every time they take “Aimee’s
program” on the road. “I think it has the potential
to do more than anything else we’ve done so far to
achieve VOTF’s goals.” Find out more.
National Representative Council meeting
held in Greenwich, CT on December 11. Minutes will
be posted on the web site; Joe O’Callaghan, former
professor of Medieval History at Fordham University,
NY and early leader of VOTF Bridgeport, CT, presented
what has come to be called “The Bridgeport Proposal.” It
is available to interested readers on the Bridgeport,
CT web site.
[The January Representative Council will meet Saturday,
January 15, 2005 at Our Lady Help of Christians, Newton,
MA, 10 am.]
[Correction to December 2004 entry under National
News: The third diocese in the US to file for bankruptcy
is Spokane, WA not Seattle, WA as stated. Apologies
Regional Events, Etc.
Boston College is like that Energizer bunny – they keep on running. Now you
can study (no matter where you live!) online through innovative programs available
non-credit; Taizé is a prayer tradition spreading across parish boundaries.
VOTF Louisville, KY reports, “We have now met in dialogue with about half of
the diocesan priests of our Archdiocese, as well as a number of order priests.” VOTF
Metuchen, NJ, Winchester, MA and Cleveland/Akron, OH also report.
PRAYER AND REFLECTION
VOTF lost one of its steadiest supporters
with the death early this month of Bob Castagnola.
Any VOTF member present in the early months of this
movement will remember Bob’s voice and spirit – VOTF
president Jim Post and others reflect on this memorable “companion
VOTF member Jack Rakosky introduces readers to Childermas
along with a proposal for monthly scripture readings.
Childermas is the Old English name for Children’s
Mass, the name given for Feast of the Holy Innocents, commemorated in the
Latin tradition on December 28. This day remembers the story of Herod the
Great’s attempt to destroy the child Jesus by slaughtering Bethlehem’s male
children under the age of two.
January Book Review
Common Calling – The Laity and Governance of the
Catholic Church, Stephen J. Pope, ed., (Georgetown
University Press, Washington, DC, 2004)
Need to Know!
can you register? Let us count the ways
out the online form and mail it to the office address
at VOTF, P.O. Box 423, Newton Upper Falls, MA 02464-0002
the office at 617-558-5252 and we will mail you
a registration form
our web site and see what new registrants will
receive – www.votf.org
is happy to accept your donation online
or by mail to VOTF, P.O. Box 423, Newton Upper
Falls, MA 02464-0002
to In the Vineyard can be emailed to Peggie
Thorp at firstname.lastname@example.org or
mailed to Peggie Thorp, VOTF at the above address.
thanks to Donna Doucette for her exemplary copy-editing
skills. Donna has agreed to “toil In the Vineyard” as In
the Vineyard copy editor for the foreseeable
of the Faithful, VOTF, "Keep the Faith, Change
Voice of Compassion, VOTF logo(s), Parish Voice, and
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of the Faithful is a 501(c) 3 tax-exempt organization.